So far, work on the Little House cabin has involved a lot of staining, then waiting for the stain to dry. On Sunday I started by staining the remaining house pieces. This might not have been necessary since I’m planning to cover everything with shingles or siding outside and skinny stick “logs” inside, but I didn’t want any raw wood to show through.

While the stain dried (outdoors, because of the fumes), I worked on “dirtying up” the chimney grout. I’ve never really done this before so I just made it up as I went along. I started by watering down some gray paint. I then spread this over the grout and stones.

Every so often, I’d wipe the wash off with a damp sponge brush to prevent it from drying on the stones. I went over the whole thing a couple of times, making sure the stones themselves didn’t end up painted.

The first wash was a bit too light, so I mixed in some darker gray paint and repeated the whole process. Here’s what I ended up with. Not sure it’s realistic, but it’ll do. After taking the photo below, I painted the whole chimney with matte varnish to protect it.

Next: more staining! But first I made a trip to Michaels to pick up more skinny sticks, because I’m planning to use a lot of them for this project. I don’t like the idea of smooth plywood walls in a log cabin, so I am going to line the interior walls (and also the ceiling) with skinny sticks to look like the insides edges of the logs that make up the exterior wall. The skinny sticks and the logs that came with the house happen to be exactly the same width.

I started with the side wall that doesn’t have the chimney on it. The skinny sticks are slightly longer than the side wall. I counted out how many I needed, and then shaved off a little bit of at the end on each stick using the disc sander.

I would have used skinny sticks for floorboards, too, but then the door wouldn’t open due to their thickness. Instead I used some very thin floorboards leftover from the Rosedale. I stained these with the same ebony stain I’m using for the logs and skinny sticks, but since they started out dark brown due to the type of wood they’re made from, they came out a bit of a different shade than everything else.

Here are some of the skinny sticks roughed in. A vertical log serves as a support to hold up the ceiling.

I glued in the floorboards first, so any unevenness at the edges would be hidden by the bottom skinny stick on the wall.

Next I glued the skinny sticks on the wall. Some of the sticks were warped and wanted to curl up from the wall. I weighted them down with a full can of stain.

A couple needed even more convincing, so I held them in place with clamps until they were totally dry.

This cabin is going to be really dark inside when everything’s in. (Much darker than it should be, probably. I’m starting to regret using the ebony stain on everything. Oh well, no turning back now…) I will potentially do some weathering on the walls and floor to lighten them up.

Next up will be the opposite wall, that houses the fireplace. I built the fireplace already but will hold off on posting those pics until my next blog, to keep all the fireplace stuff together. (Oh, the suspense!)